US worried Russia may try to buy more advanced weapons from Iran
U.S. officials are worried that Russia may try to gain additional advanced weapons from Iran to use in its war in Ukraine, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Tuesday.
“We do have concerns that Russia may also seek to acquire additional advanced munition capabilities from Iran, for example, surface-to-surface missiles, to use in Ukraine,” Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters.
Iran has already given Russia drones to use to attack Ukrainian targets, and Washington expects Moscow will “likely seek more of those,” Ryder said.
Earlier Tuesday, CNN reported that Iran is preparing to send Russia about 1,000 additional weapons, including more drones and for the first time, surface-to-surface short range ballistic missiles.
Such a shipment would come as the U.S. has assessed that the Russians are experiencing munitions shortages.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has increasingly relied on Iran after the Kremlin became a near-global pariah due to its unprovoked war on Ukraine.
U.S. officials said Iran is supplying Russia with weaponized drones used in deadly attacks against Ukraine and is providing on-the-ground training to Moscow’s forces.
“The evidence that Iran is helping Russia wage its war against Ukraine is clear and it is public and Iran and Russia are growing closer the more isolated they become,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters last week.
“I would say that this is indicative” of Russia and Iran’s “continued collusion to attack Ukrainian citizens and sustain Russia’s illegal occupation,” Ryder said.